Talk:Early American currency

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/Archive 1: 2006–2009

Organization of this article[edit]

This article was created in April 2010 through the merger of two articles: Colonial scrip and Continental (currency). Those articles were in poor condition and were confused about the distinction between Continental and state/colonial currency. (Additionally, the title "colonial scrip" came from a phony Benjamin Franklin quote; details in next section). I've thrown out the garbage, combined what was correct, and given us a new start. In the future someone might want to spin out Continental currency as its own article again, although the topic is so entwined with the currency concurrently issued by the states that it's probably better to cover the currency of the American Revolution in the same article. At some point we'll also need a third section in this article, covering currency in the postwar Confederation period. —Kevin Myers 05:44, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Beware of bogus Franklin quotes[edit]

In previous versions of the article, KHirsch (talk · contribs) did a good job of removing bogus Benjamin Franklin quotes that had found their way into Wikipedia. The quotes come from a 1939 speech by Congressman Charles G. Binderup, who was an opponent of the Federal Reserve system. To bolster his arguments, Binderup apparently fabricated Franklin quotes as needed. More details can be found in archive 1 and in this blog. After initially falling for Binderup's pseudo-history, the blogger contacted professor Leo Lemay, a leading Franklin expert, who told him that none of the quotes were genuine, and that some of them misrepresented Franklin's opinions. Future editors should be aware that these bogus quotes are all over the Internet and so will inevitably show up here again. —Kevin Myers 05:44, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Simply Too Many?[edit]

From the main article: "Some think that the rebel bills depreciated because people lost confidence in them or because they were not backed by tangible assets," writes financial historian Robert E. Wright. "Not so. There were simply too many of them."[13]

I have to LOL at that one.

It stands to reason that if the dollars were backed by tangible assets, it would be impossible for there to be "too many" of them. This is the entire point of backing money with commodities such as gold or silver. Money can not be printed in perpetuity if it must first represent a tangible asset other than tree bark.

This analysis should not remain in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:55, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Wright's comment should not remain in the article because you don't agree with it? Sorry, that's not the Wikipedia approach. Besides, your response to Wright's comment is a tangent rather than a rebuttal. —Kevin Myers 15:06, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Design flaws[edit]

I would like to submit an addition section pertaining to the design flaws of the Continental. If you would like to take a look at the source I would be getting this information from it's It's a preliminary paper discussing the design flaws in the money, such as the Continental not being purely fiat, but rather a zero-interest bond bearing note that was supposed to be redeemable for hard currency. The paper also delves into the complications of using such a note. MFBC (talk) 17:30, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

That paper is by Farley Grubb, a well-known scholar of the topic, which is good, though you might wait for the final version of the paper to be published. —Kevin Myers 05:25, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Sounds good. I will wait until the final draft is published. Thanks for the advice. MFBC (talk) 19:15, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Pennsylvania Pound?[edit] appears to be a copy of the old Colonial_Scrip article, though I'm unfamiliar with the history of that article, so I'm unsure. In any case, that URL contains some interesting, seemingly valuable content that isn't included in the current Early_American_currency article. Specifically, there's a discussion of the effectiveness of the Pennsylvania Pound, with quotes from Benjamin Franklin, Albert Gallatin, and Adam Smith. Was this content originally in the Colonial_Scrip article? Why was it removed? Should it be put back in place? (talk) 14:44, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

The goal on Wikipedia is to use only reliable sources to construct articles; the information in that website does not qualify and cannot be used as such. However, if someone eventually uses modern scholarly sources to expand this article and the Pennsylvania pound article, it's likely that we'll get accurate coverage about topics such as Franklin and Adam Smith's views about colonial paper currency. There are good scholarly sources out there for this information, but no one here has gotten around to using those sources to give us full coverage on this topic. Maybe someday. —Kevin Myers 04:29, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Conversion to a list article[edit]

I wanted to see if there would be any objections to converting this article into one or two list-class articles (with the intent to work them into shape to be nominated for Featured Lists). I would add (to Colonial) a 13-item set of high resolution scans to have a representative sample from each colony. Many of these are rare earlier notes and some have notable signers. If it is not too much, I could create a table for a Continental list which would include a complete denomination set. All images are from notes in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian. I would welcome any feedback. Thanks-Godot13 (talk) 00:51, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

Just wanted to check again to see if there is any objection to adding two tables to this article containing a complete denomination set of Continental currency and a Colonial set and reformat it as a list article. Thanks. --Godot13 (talk) 05:16, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Sounds very interesting. Go for it! —Kevin Myers 04:40, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Kevin. I see you've been involved with this article from the beginning. I'm going to start working up the images and put them in a draft table in my user space. I'll ping you for a look when it starts to take form (a few weeks). - Godot13 (talk) 17:36, 15 March 2014 (UTC)